Asians as “White”

Commenter Pine_Tree on the Nikki Haley thread wrote,

[A]llow a white Southerner to point out something about casual use of the word “white”: sometimes it just means “not black”. Meaning, believe it or not, that in common usage, a school (or gathering, or club, or church, or whatever) in the South that includes no black people is “all-white”. This is true even when there are, for instance, people of Korean or Indian ancestry in said group. Whether this is anthropologically correct, or PC, or even nice is beside the point. It’s just one of the common, casual usages.

I can’t speak to Southern white practices, but I can speak to what I’ve seen quite a bit out here in California in discussions of race: Asians being called white, usually by people who are criticizing institutions for not having enough blacks and Hispanics, and often in the course of arguing in favor of race preferences for blacks and Hispanics. I’m not just talking about Asians and whites being classified together for racial classification purposes — I’m talking about Asians being actually labeled “white.” For a 2008 post that offers a related example, see here; for a 2002 post on the related example of Asian and white women being implicitly placed in the category of “male” (I kid you not), see